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  1. - Top - End - #61
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    SamuraiGuy

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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    Quote Originally Posted by MrSandman View Post
    It actually does make sense. A leather armour may not be able to stop a trebuchet's boulder, but armours were created to keep their wearer from being hurt. For instance, late 13th century mail was impervious to most weapons of that century, that's why two-handed swords became a thing (both because now warriors did not need a shield, and because two-handed swords were more capable of piercing through mail than one-handed swords). Same goes with plates, warriors did not aim for an armour's plates, they aimed for its openings. It's not that there was no way to break through armour (in fact, armours kept evolving because people kept finding ways to pierce through them), but that it is extremely hard. So if you hit an armour's strong point (say, the middle of a plate), the vast majority of the time your attack will just be deflected without any significant harm to your opponent.
    It makes sense when you are fighting man to man in a medieval wargame like Chainmail was at first or a game that focuses on naval combat where Armor Class is taken from. When you get to the extremes it falls apart. When you are facing a 20' frost giant swinging a two handed maul your plate armour isn't going to do much. Just like a bus running you over at 50 mph, then your plate armour doesn't help you, just like when the Tarrasque stomps on you.

    It's just my preference and lot of other people because majority of systems other than D&D are structured in such a manner that armor doesn't make you harder to hit but to hurt and is represented either in Damage Resistance, toughness rolls or armour rolls to oppose damage. To protect the character D&D instead doles out HP in abundance.

    I prefer Attack roll vs Defense roll

    if hit

    Damage roll vs Soak roll or Damage roll with Damage Reduction subtracted from Damage.

    This is a better way to avoid HP bloat.
    Last edited by RazorChain; 2018-06-07 at 12:07 PM.
    Optimizing vs Roleplay
    If the worlds greatest optimizer makes a character and hands it to the worlds greatest roleplayer who roleplays the character. What will happen? Will the Universe implode?

    Roleplaying vs Fun
    If roleplaying is no fun then stop doing it. Unless of course you are roleplaying at gunpoint then you should roleplay like your life depended on it.

  2. - Top - End - #62
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    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    Both ways actually make sense, but you need the right system.

    In D&D, where we don't care about where you hit, armour as defence class makes sense, and is what I'm using. Because lots of armour can absorb or deflect blows to such a degree that you don't take meaningful damage we're just simplifying by sorting into 'no meaningful damage' and 'got through/avoided armour'.

    In something like Dark Heresy, where one roll tells us if we hit and what location armour as DR makes a lot more sense.
    Agreed

    Quote Originally Posted by RazorChain View Post
    It makes sense when you are fighting man to man in a medieval wargame like Chainmail was at first or a game that focuses on naval combat where Armor Class is taken from. When you get to the extremes it falls apart. When you are facing a 20' frost giant swinging a two handed maul your plate armour isn't going to do much. Just like a bus running you over at 50 mph, then your plate armour doesn't help you, just like when the Tarrasque stomps on you.
    Well, if you get hit by a giant's hammer, you're toast. Period. There's really nothing short of magic that would prevent or mitigate enough such blow and look medieval-ish. I really can't see how some sort of damage reduction adds realism here.


    Quote Originally Posted by RazorChain View Post
    It's just my preference and lot of other people because majority of systems other than D&D are structured in such a manner that armor doesn't make you harder to hit but to hurt and is represented either in Damage Resistance, toughness rolls or armour rolls to oppose damage. To protect the character D&D instead doles out HP in abundance.
    My personal preference is attack roll vs. attack roll, as it shows that both combatants are engaged in the fight and it is not a mere succession of I try to hit you then you try to hit me but a complicated art in which we both are trying to evade each other's attacks as well as hit at the same time.
    Last edited by MrSandman; 2018-06-07 at 12:41 PM.

  3. - Top - End - #63
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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    Quote Originally Posted by MrSandman View Post
    Agreed
    I'm going to admit right now that I personally prefer hit locations and armour as DR. But that complicates things, and I find everything runs smoother with little practical difference under the D&D model.

    Well, if you get hit by a giant's hammer, you're toast. Period. There's really nothing short of magic that would prevent or mitigate enough such blow and look medieval-ish. I really can't see how some sort of damage reduction adds realism here.
    The idea, I think, is that the DR would subtract from a human's damage and leave only one or two points to get through, but against the giant's damage your 14DR isn't looking so good, a giant does 234d12 damage per swing.

    This is obviously not taking into account that in pre-5e D&D that giant might have a Strength modifier in the low teens or more, suddenly your +8AC full plate isn't stopping it's swing as much as you thought it was...

    My personal preference is attack roll vs. attack roll, as it shows that both combatants are engaged in the fight and it is not a mere succession of I try to hit you then you try to hit me but a complicated art in which we both are trying to evade each other's attacks as well as hit at the same time.
    While I like it in theory I've personally never got it to run smooth. But then again my idea of a perfect roleplaying session is one where weapons are never drawn.
    Last edited by Anonymouswizard; 2018-06-07 at 01:50 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

  4. - Top - End - #64
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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    D&D is not fixed by any rules change. Fortunately, it is not particularly hurt by any rules change, either.

    No rule will fix the problems caused by unreasonable players trying to get unreasonable results out of the rules. Any rules set large enough to encompass the game is also complicated enough to be stretched, misapplied, and used to justify nonsense. And if you successfully prevent one such attempt, you haven't fixed the game; you have merely moved on to the next rule-twisted nonsense.

    No rule will fix the problems caused by untrustworthy DMs trying to create an unfair situation for their own amusement. Too much is hidden from the players for you to ever stop somebody who wants to put you in an unfair situation.

    D&D is only fixed by playing with trustworthy, reasonable players, in a game run by a competent, trustworthy, and reasonable DM.

  5. - Top - End - #65
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    ElfPirate

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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Note that there's dozens and dozens of different versions of Fate, usually specific for a certain kind of game style or setting. This may be just in one kind of pulp hack.
    Okay, but that one pulp hack still requires that I have the core rules, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
    I've tallied up all the points for this thread, and consulted with the debate judges, and the verdict is clear: JoeJ wins the thread.

  6. - Top - End - #66
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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    D&D is not fixed by any rules change. Fortunately, it is not particularly hurt by any rules change, either.

    No rule will fix the problems caused by unreasonable players trying to get unreasonable results out of the rules. Any rules set large enough to encompass the game is also complicated enough to be stretched, misapplied, and used to justify nonsense. And if you successfully prevent one such attempt, you haven't fixed the game; you have merely moved on to the next rule-twisted nonsense.

    No rule will fix the problems caused by untrustworthy DMs trying to create an unfair situation for their own amusement. Too much is hidden from the players for you to ever stop somebody who wants to put you in an unfair situation.

    D&D is only fixed by playing with trustworthy, reasonable players, in a game run by a competent, trustworthy, and reasonable DM.
    True, but that's not what this thread is about.

    I'm fairly certain people can work out why this thread was posted, but the point was a psuedo-celebration of the fact that we don't all want the same things from the same game. The fact that you can't actually 'fix' a social activity isn't the point, the fact that when given the same starting rules we veer off in many different directions is.

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeJ View Post
    Okay, but that one pulp hack still requires that I have the core rules, right?
    Probably not, I've got a sneaking suspicion it might be Spirit of the Century, which is a full edition before CORE. Essentially Fate goes as follows:
    -FATE1e (noncommercial)
    -FATE2e (noncommercial)
    -FATE3e, no core rulebook
    --Spirit of the Century, pulp action
    --Dresden Files, epic urban fantasy, is more a 3.5 or a precursor to 4e.
    -Fate 4e (note different capitalisation, it changed)
    --Fate CORE, essentially the corebook
    --Fate Acclerated, essentially a much lighter version of CORE, focused on being able to jump into the game with no messy 'game creation'
    --Atomic Robo
    --War of Ashes: Fate of Ablahdablah (what, I just can't be bothered to look up the setting name)
    --Transhumanity's Fate, an Eclipse Phase hack
    --Dresden Files Accelerated
    --A bunch of 50 page minisettings

    Note that Spirit of the Century, the Dresden Files games, and Atomic Robo include all the rules required for play. Although as you're supposed to make up your own stunts (and that is a good example of what I might allow) instead of picking from a list unless you desperately want a certain setting Accelerated should be your first purchase, followed by CORE. Ideally in PWYW pdf format, so you can go back and spend money on them if you like them after grabbing them for free (I nab all the pdfs for free and then buy physical copies of the ones I like).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

  7. - Top - End - #67
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    Daemon

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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    Quite honestly, my fix would just be to add a lot more options to 5E and call it a day.

    I don't think 5E is perfect, but I think it largely accomplishes everything I want D&D to do. My only real complaints are that I want more material - I truly miss the variety that late 3.5/PF brought to the table, but not enough to go back to the headache they could represent - and that I think the monsters in 5E could stand to be a little more interesting.

    Just to discuss some of my issues with 5E, in particular I feel the skill system is too flat. The difference in skill level from 1st to 20th feels much more minor than the same characters growth in killing abilities, which is odd. But I don't think you can really do too much about that without introducing complications to a system that thrives on its simplicities. Similarly, I miss the weapon variety of 3.5, but the system would be poorer for the complications more variety would introduce. The only real problem I've found with 5E that I feel should actually be fixed are that higher CR monsters are typically pushovers for high leveled players. While the lack of variety in the rest of the system is more about preference, I truly feel 5E needs more high powered enemies for players to face. Tome of Foes seems like it's at least taking steps in that direction.

    Other than that, 5E feels like a logical end goal of design. It's not perfect, but even those imperfections fall within an acceptable range. Options aren't perfectly balanced, but the range is now close enough that no one will ever actually feel useless. And I don't think you can achieve true balance without sacrificing uniqueness.

  8. - Top - End - #68
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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    ...D&D is only fixed by playing with trustworthy, reasonable players, in a game run by a competent, trustworthy, and reasonable DM.

    Dang it Jay R, you brought good sense into our arguments!

    How are we supposed to make the thread last now!

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeJ View Post
    Okay, but that one pulp hack still requires that I have the core rules, right?

    $5 got me the 48 pages of FATE Accelerated (an intro version, sorta like the equivalent of the 48 pages of the bluebook).

    Good deal.

    There's probably some free PDF's as well.
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    Does the game you play feature a Dragon sitting on a pile of treasure, in a Dungeon?
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    You're an NPC stat block."I remember when your race was your class you damned whippersnappers"
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    ..race of fantasy plumbers..
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  9. - Top - End - #69
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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    Alright, let's have some fun with this. Pretending that I have full license to mess with things, but we still want it to feel like D&D at the end of the day. I would be tilting towards something that takes the best of the original 1974 dungeon crawl, with a sprinkling of modern tabletop design.

    * There are only four classes - Fighter, Mage, Priest, and Rogue. Each class has a number of subclasses which provide a bonus at certain levels (so a Fighter would have the subclasses Barbarian, Champion, Ranger and Monk. A Mage might have Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard. A Priest could be a Cleric, Druid, or Paladin. A Rogue might be an Assassin, Bard, or Thief.) Probably you expand a bit to have four or have subclasses.

    * There are only four Abilities - Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence, Charisma. Wisdom gets broken between Intelligence and Charisma, and Constitution is a subset of Strength. You start with a spread of +2, +1, +0, -1 and then add a bonus +1 to any Ability. Most of the races have minimum ratings instead of bonuses (dwarves must have Strength +1 after all bonuses, elves must have Dexterity +1, etc.)

    * Each Heritage gives you two bonuses that apply new permissions - situations in which you can just declare success. Elves don't sleep, and can use their exceptional senses. Dwarves are immune to nonmagical poison, and can see in pitch blackness. Halflings are Small and can eat almost anything. Etc. Humans don't get any bonuses, but do get an extra Skill instead.

    * Skills let you bypass rolls. Your skill level is Standard, Expert, Legend, or Myth. Tasks are Routine, Standard, Expert, Legendary, or Mythic. If a task's difficulty is lower than your skill level, you do it. If a task's difficulty is equal to your skill level, you have to roll against DC 10 (using the related Ability.) If a task's difficulty is higher than your skill level, you fail. There are not very many skills - maybe fifteen? Enough that having one is a Big Deal. Social skills let you reduce what you need to offer to get people on your side, essentially acting as tactical modifiers to social situations.

    * Spells go from First Circle to Seventh Circle, instead of from 1 to 9. The Mage and Priest get their spells at Levels 1, 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, and 18. Warriors get cool combat stuff at those levels, and rogues get extra skills or upgraded skills (rogues get way more skills than anyone else.)

    * You always get something when you level up, either from your class, your subclass, or from what everyone gets. These happen at about the same time for each class. So your class bonus is Levels 1, 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18. Your subclass bonuses are Level 1, 4, 7, 10, 13, 16, and 19. And the general bonuses kick in at Level 1, 2, 5, 8, 11, 14, 17, and 20. This also means that you can start everyone off at Level 2 without them having to learn a lot of new rules for their character type - they just get the general Level 2 bonus (which is probably HP and a small general bonus.)

  10. - Top - End - #70
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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    I would take 3.5, and limit all core classes to five levels, maybe ten, tops. You're supposed to prestige out after, and that is now explicit. All PrCs provide or advance casting; break points for each class are generally (but not always) at level 2, 3, and 5. For example, the paladin would be a five-level base class, with break points at level 2 (Divine Grace), level 4 (Turn Undead), and level 5 (Special Mount). Level 1 abilities are supposed to be character-defining, but also scaling with level, like Smite (which should probably be the PF version, as well), so that you have something to work with as first-level character, but you're not pressured into first-level dips too much (looking at you, barbarian/cleric/monk/UA druid).

    The idea is that you can enter PrCs with ECL 6 requirements as straight X 5, a multiclass X 2/Y 3, or slightly delay and enter as X3/Y3 or similar.
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    SamuraiGuy

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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    As I am lazy, and happy to steal others works, I would just slap Giants and graveyards (link in sig) on to 3.5, replace tome of battle with path of war, and 3.5 Psionics with Dsp Psionics, soul knifes being gifted blades or the PoW archetype. Maybe add Grods Christmas tree removal rules, for a more 5e feel.

    That or just play 5e, with home brew,3rd party and UA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Telonius View Post
    3.5 is the English Language of gaming.

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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    Not a "fix" for anything but martial/caster disparity, but...

    Skill Masteries that are (ex) abilities that give new abilities or expand existing ones, with different Mastery Ratings; characters can have Skill Masteries for particular skills as long as their Mastery Ratings sum to the number of ranks the character has in the skill. (If this is PF instead of 3.5, they may have up to three more points of Mastery if they have it as a class skill.)

    Weapon Techniques that range from (ex) to (su) abilities, usable as long as the character is wielding the weapon for which he has the technique. Techniques are ranked by prerequisite: Proficiency with the weapon, Weapon Focus for the weapon, Weapon Specialization for the weapon, Greater Weapon Focus, Greater Weapon Specialization, Weapon Supremacy. Having these gets you one free technique for the weapon for each "tier" you're at. Additional ones can be purchased through expensive training (in supplies, trainers, or however the DM wishes to model it).

    These should allow a master of multiple weapons to swap out weapons for different techniques.


    Between Skill Masteries and Weapon Techniques, it should be possible for any challenge Magic can overcome, there should be martials/rogues who can overcome them, with roughly the same odds that a randomly chosen martial/rogue could do it as a randomly chosen magic-user could do it.

  13. - Top - End - #73
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    ElfPirate

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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    Probably not, I've got a sneaking suspicion it might be Spirit of the Century, which is a full edition before CORE. Essentially Fate goes as follows:
    -FATE1e (noncommercial)
    -FATE2e (noncommercial)
    -FATE3e, no core rulebook
    --Spirit of the Century, pulp action
    --Dresden Files, epic urban fantasy, is more a 3.5 or a precursor to 4e.
    -Fate 4e (note different capitalisation, it changed)
    --Fate CORE, essentially the corebook
    --Fate Acclerated, essentially a much lighter version of CORE, focused on being able to jump into the game with no messy 'game creation'
    --Atomic Robo
    --War of Ashes: Fate of Ablahdablah (what, I just can't be bothered to look up the setting name)
    --Transhumanity's Fate, an Eclipse Phase hack
    --Dresden Files Accelerated
    --A bunch of 50 page minisettings

    Note that Spirit of the Century, the Dresden Files games, and Atomic Robo include all the rules required for play. Although as you're supposed to make up your own stunts (and that is a good example of what I might allow) instead of picking from a list unless you desperately want a certain setting Accelerated should be your first purchase, followed by CORE. Ideally in PWYW pdf format, so you can go back and spend money on them if you like them after grabbing them for free (I nab all the pdfs for free and then buy physical copies of the ones I like).
    That's helpful, thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by daemonaetea View Post
    Similarly, I miss the weapon variety of 3.5, but the system would be poorer for the complications more variety would introduce.
    You might want to check out Beyond Damage Dice from Kobold Press. It's got a few new weapons but it's mainly about cool maneuvers using existing weapons. It keeps the complication down to a minimum by making them useable by anybody who has proficiency in that weapon.
    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
    I've tallied up all the points for this thread, and consulted with the debate judges, and the verdict is clear: JoeJ wins the thread.

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    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    As opposed to many people on this thread I don't think D&D should become grittier. When I play D&D I play a game that's about being a hero of increasingly larger scale. Like if you play a 1-20 campaign you should go from a fairly realistic action/folk hero while at level 20 you can become something along the lines of Rama.

    This is going to be mostly based on pathfinder for things I don't talk about like HP per level
    on to the specifics:

    races: I think races should have a more minor effect since I think the stat differences bias towards certain classes too much. I'd prefer a couple qualitative abilities only

    Classes:
    I think classes should still exist and I like the idea of using archetypes that you get every couple levels automatically like in 4e or 5e. I also like the idea of power sources that 4e had although I don't like the execution and I think it should be treated like the difference between incarnum and psychic powers. I also think that limited uses of abilities or other types of resource management are required for a good class, at least in what I want D&D to be. I also think that day based limits are strange and only make sense in dungeon crawl heavy campaigns

    example of a class:
    barbarian:
    would be a nature type class which would mean this class (as well as other nature classes like the ranger and druid)would have a system where you gain animal aspects and can affect nature like making entangling vines. It would have the same concept of emotion based fighter with nature knowledge and at level 6 it would get an archetype like wanderer which gets more nature based abilities or berserker which focuses on direct combat and would get "spells" and some abilities from the archetype

    Skills:
    I think skills should have far more scaling than they do now with middle level and high "epic level" uses. This should probably be done with skill unlocks based on rank so you can't have a lucky roll allow you to jump 20ft at level one but make that simple by level 10.

    some skills should be based off of have rules for minigames such as diplomacy or complicated trap disabling so social and trap passing isn't just rolling a die several times until you get through

    Also I think that the idea of a skill monkey is a bit ridiculous and there should be enough skill points for each character that you don't need a dedicated one

    feats:
    I think feats should be interesting additional things that allow you to try out mechanics from other classes, have their own mini mechanics (like the luck and tactics feats from 3.5) and generally do qualitative things rather than give you +10% boosts to whatever.

    equipment:
    weapons and armor are fine to a certain extent. I'm not aiming for realistic combat so I don't really care that a greatsword can't pierce or whatever but it would be cool to have some cheap non adventurer items that don't exist in the real world to help show that the setting evolved with magic

    combat:
    I want combat to be more dynamic with every class having their own choices to make that can have their pros and cons to them rather than having classes like fighter just charge and then full attack. So each class should have something to do besides direct attack even though the classes should each have niches to fit into to a certain extent.

    magic:
    magic (and by that I mean all the powers from the power sources) shouldn't be as strong as it was in 3.5/pathfinder although spells like teleporting should still exist. I'd rather have more OP spells debuffed by making them take longer to cast or give a warning to enemies than remove them completely. There should also be spells that would be used by non adventurers for setting reasons.

    Hopefully that isn't too wordy for you guys

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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    I would go back to the idea that a class was, well, a class. It's a measure of where you have been living and what you've been doing.

    To become a wizard, you have been training for years to understand how magic works. A fighter has spent the last few years training in combat. A cleric has been learning divine casting in a church.

    Learning two classes at once should be extremely difficult. Picking up a new one while devoting all your time to a quest or adventure using other skills should be impossible.

    I'd probably design martial classes like a tree with many branches. It certainly makes sense for a Fighter to grow into a Warlord or other warrior class. But going from a wizard class to a Fighter, separate from spending years learning to fight, makes no sense at all.

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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    I'm one of those who plays D&D to play D&D, not to play a generic fantasy game that happens to use the D&D rules as a baseline, so keeping Vancian casting, classes, alignments, and all that jazz is non-negotiable for me and making things classless, point-based, gritty, etc. don't interest me at all. My "perfect" D&D starts with 3e for the things it does well, brings in a bunch of stuff from BECMI and 2e that they did better than 3e, and then layer on top things like a better skill system that none of those editions did well.

    I've been working on a fix off and on for a while, and there are two major parts of the system that have remained largely unchanged the whole time:

    Classes and Subclasses

    Like Friv's proposal, there are a fixed number of base classes with all existing classes being subclasses, but there are 10, not 4. You have the standard Warrior, Magic-User, Priest, and Expert, and then conceptual hybrids of those: Gish (martial/arcane), Champion (martial/divine), Adept (martial/skills), Theurge (arcane/divine), Trickster (arcane/skills), and Mystic (divine/skills). (Names are working titles; "gish" and "theurge" are a bit on-the-nose and finding a good name for martial/skills is hard.)

    Every base class has its own resource mechanic(s), and existing classes from the various editions fit under them. For instance, the Theurge covers those who combine the two styles of magic (drawing on the power of a higher being [divine] via pacts and knowledge [arcane], venerating [divine] an impersonal force [arcane], etc.), so it would cover classes like the warlock and binder who make deals with powerful beings and a "shaman" class (like the binder mechanically but the spirit shaman flavor-wise) that makes deals with spirits, and its resource mechanic is getting multiple packages of similarly-themed abilities each day (vestiges, "pacts" of multiple invocations, etc.).

    On top of that, there are four tiers with mandatory sort-of-PrCs, called basic, prestige, mythic, and epic paths. Each is 3 levels long and fits "alongside" rather than instead of your normal class progression; most would be conversions of existing classes and PrCs that only get 2-3 interesting and useful abilities, but there would be new ones as well. The class progression looks like this:

    Spoiler
    Show
    Level Base Class Subclass Path
    0th Class Feature 0 Subclass Feature 0
    1st Class Feature 1 Basic Feature 1
    2nd Class Feature 2 Subclass Feature 1
    3rd Class Feature 3 Basic Feature 2
    4th Class Feature 4 Subclass Feature 2
    5th Class Feature 5 Basic Feature 3
    6th Class Feature 6 Prestige Feature 1
    7th Class Feature 7 Subclass Feature 3
    8th Class Feature 8 Prestige Feature 2
    9th Class Feature 9 Subclass Feature 4
    10th Class Feature 10 Prestige Feature 3
    11th Class Feature 11 Mythic Feature 1
    12th Class Feature 12 Subclass Feature 5
    13th Class Feature 13 Mythic Feature 2
    14th Class Feature 14 Subclass Feature 6
    15th Class Feature 15 Mythic Feature 3
    16th Class Feature 16 Epic Feature 1
    17th Class Feature 17 Subclass Feature 7
    18th Class Feature 18 Epic Feature 2
    19th Class Feature 19 Subclass Feature 8
    20th Class Feature 20 Epic Feature 3


    The base class feature is usually a level of spellcasting or similar selectable-ability progression, but there are other fixed class features sprinkled in there; the 0th-level stuff in there is things like proficiencies, cantrips (2e-/3e-style, not 5e-style) and is separated out to enable 0th/0th multiclassing at 1st level. Subclasses may build on base class features, but aren't necessarily tied to single base classes; you might be able to have a less magical Warrior (Ranger) or Adept (Ranger) or a more magical Champion (Ranger), for instance. Paths are generally either class-agnostic with very simple prerequisites (like just "must have Stealth trained" for a sneaky path) that anyone can take, or class-/subclass-specific for further customization like 3e barbarian totems, 5e warlock pacts, and so forth.

    For an old 3e take on how the class/subclass/path setup might look in practice, see here.

    Skills and Proficiencies

    There's four parts of this: the skill list, skill point progressions, proficiencies, and skill synergies/specializations. For skill list and proficiences, I'll quote myself from an earlier thread:

    Spoiler: Skills
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by PairO'Dice Lost View Post
    I've used something similar to this in the past, and am working on fleshing out a more complete system. Basically, going farther than not always using an associated ability score, skills don't have an associated ability score and each skill can be used with each of the six attributes (in theory; some combinations won't be used often or at all), kind of like how Shadowrun has un-attribute-associated skills and always specifies "Roll [stat]+[skill]" for its checks. My skill list looks a lot like Corneel's, where each skill represents a general approach to doing things rather than representing the things you do.

    Individual tasks/subskills for each skill (the "things you do" part) do have associated ability scores, though, based on what kind of task each is: Str-based rolls generally involved physical force or movement, Dex-based rolls generally involve finesse or complex/intricate/involved tasks, Con-based rolls generally involve long-term or endurance-based tasks, Int-based rolls generally involve knowing things (and replace Knowledge-type skills), Wis-based rolls generally involve intuition or observing/noticing details, and Cha-based rolls generally involve social interaction.

    For a relevant social skills example, there are two skills for doing things in an underhanded fashion (Deception and Stealth, the former for tricking or misdirecting people and the latter for doing things unnoticed), and there's a skill called Culture that covers both "culture" as in customs and social institutions, like Corneel's Politics skill above, and also "culture" as in the arts and other upper-class pastimes. Here's how you might use those skills in practice and with which attributes:

    Ability score Deception skill uses 3e analogs Stealth skill uses 3e analogs Culture skill uses 3e analogs
    Str Fooling people as to what combat maneuver you're attempting, making people think you'll punch their head off if they don't cooperate Bluff (feinting), Intimidate Rapid stealthy movement, hanging from windowsills for a while Hide/Move Silently (with penalties for movement) N/A N/A
    Dex Legerdemain, pickpocketing Sleight of Hand, Open Lock (simple locks) Careful stealthy movement, silently removing windows Hide/Move Silently (used normally), Disable Device (traps), Open Lock (complex/puzzle locks) Playing instruments, art forms like painting or weaving Craft (Painting/Pottery/etc.), Perform (technical performance)
    Con N/A N/A Extended stealth (like a sniper lying in wait or hanging from the rafters to overhear a conversation) N/A N/A N/A
    Int Forging documents, making and using ciphers Forgery, Decipher Script (codes) Tailing people unnoticed, identifying hidden entrance points, constructing camouflage Knowledge (Architecture/Dungeoneering), Survival (urban tracking), some class features Cultural knowledge, navigating bureaucracy Appraise, Knowledge (History/Local/Nobility), Decipher Script (legalese)
    Wis "Reading" a mark for a later con, identifying fellow ne'er-do-wells Innuendo (3.0), Sense Motive (noticing lies) Noticing pressure plates and alarms Search, Trapfinding Identifying movers and shakers, determining how honest or corrupt an official is Innuendo (3.0), Sense Motive (getting a hunch)
    Cha Lying, making yourself look more dangerous or well-connected Bluff (lying), Intimidate, Gather Information (word on the street) Disguises, impersonation Disguise, Diplomacy (appeal to authority) Wheeling and dealing, public performance Diplomacy (illicit deals), Perform (emotional performance), Gather Information (gossip at a party)

    (A "N/A" doesn't mean those skill+attribute combinations can't be used, just that I couldn't think of a good example off the top of my head while making the table.)

    So as you can see, these skill groupings mean that non-traditional social skills can all be used for social stuff, and there's some overlap in Bluff-like, Diplomacy-like, and Intimidate-like tasks depending on who the audience is and how you're going about the task. There's also ways to slice things up by attribute, like being able to train only certain attributes for a given skill for fewer resources than training the whole skill, having Bardic Knowledge effectively being able to substitute for any Int-based skill checks and Rage granting something similar for Str-based checks, and so forth, but that's all outside the skills themselves.

    There aren't actual Bluff/Diplomacy/Intimidate skills in this setup that characters can take since all of those skills' uses fall under other skills (nor are there Knowledge or Spot/Listen skills, since those fall under Int- and Wis-based tasks, respectively, of other skills), but each of those is mostly covered by just one to three skills (Deception/Tactics, Culture/Empathy/Insight, and Deception/Empathy, respectively) so you can "be good at Bluff" without too much investment and it's possible to "be good at social skills" with enough skills trained.

    So this has the benefits of the skill group/subskill setup I mentioned earlier, in that each skill covers quite a broad area so that characters can be fairly competent by default without investing too many resources into one area, but between splitting uses of certain old skills over multiple new skills and allowing training/specialization of subskills you don't have an issue where all the social characters invest in the same one to two "social interaction" skills and end up too similar to one another and you don't have to make a character or creature good at a bunch of related things if you want them to be good at one particular thing.


    And to your earlier point about magic skills, though it's not directly relevant to the social skill discussion, there's Arcana, Nature, and Religion for arcane, divine (druid-y), and divine (priestly) magic, respectively. They each have areas of mundane use--the usual Knowledge (Arcana/Nature/Religion) stuff, plus Arcana has alchemy, harvesting and using monster parts, and working with magic traps; Nature has Survival and Profession (Sailor) navigation stuff, the parts of animal breeding and training that don't fall under Empathy, and herbalism and potion-making; and Religion has the social religious stuff like holidays, minor miracles like prophetic dreams and omens, and everything related to undead-slaying. On the magical side, they all have basically identical uses for their different categories of magic: Str for busting through force effects or other magical barriers and disrupting usage of magical abilities, Dex for hiding somatic components or using them in constricted spaces, Con for concentration and not losing spells when attacked, Int for identifying spells and items and some parts of UMD, Wis for sensing magic, and Cha for the rest of UMD and misdirecting observers as to what you're trying to cast.

    So not only does this slightly granulate the magic skills so that "magic guy," "sneaky guy," and "social guy" can all handle their main area of focus with a single skill if they want to but really need two or three skills to cover everything, but it folds together the directly magical skills with other skills that martial and skilled classes might find useful (fighters might want Arcana for mage-slaying and Nature for healing without a divine caster, rangers want Nature for getting along in the wild and Religion to deal with some favored enemies, and so on) so that at higher levels you don't have the noncasters who have been immersed in magic and magic-users for many levels now still being unable to ID an enemy spell because they can't afford to and have no pressing reason to invest in Spellcraft.

    Spoiler: Proficiencies
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by PairO'Dice Lost View Post
    Of course. So, the basic goals of the system are (A) to fold in the boring-but-useful feats into things you get for free at starting levels, (B) to add "hooks" for downtime activities like training and crafting, and (C) to provide a way for low-level characters to be very good smiths, sages, guards, and so forth without requiring them to have lots of HD for the feats or skill ranks they'd otherwise require to fill those roles.

    There are six proficiency categories and three proficiency ranks. The categories are Weapon, Armor, Knowledge, Profession, Region, and Faction. The first two map to weapon and armor proficiencies, the second two map to Knowledge and Profession/Perform subskills, and the last two sorta kinda map to affiliation rules and the variant Knowledge (Local) rules for Forgotten Realms. The proficiency ranks are Basic, Expert, and Master. Basic proficiency removes nonproficiency penalties and Expert and Master each grant a general benefit by category, and each proficiency has its own Basic/Expert/Master perks as well that are roughly on the scale of a feat.

    Various other parts of the rules are modified to use proficiencies as prerequisites as much as possible, such as shortening feat trees and taking feat and skill taxes out of PrC prerequisites. They can also be used numerically for certain things (Basic = 1, Expert = 2, Master = 3), like multiplying crafting progress or adding to a weapon's threat range and other things that would be nice to scale to a small degree.

    Weapon Proficiencies
    These are by weapon type and fighting style: Axes, Crossbows, Dual Weapons, Mobile Fighting, Natural Weapons, etc. The general Expert perk is to not provoke AoOs when making combat maneuvers with associated weapons and the general Master perk is to reduce iterative or multiattack penalties with associated weapons; specific perks include things like Reflexive Toss for Master Thrown Weapons (threaten an area and make AoOs with thrown weapons) or Never Surrounded for Expert Dual Weapons (negate flanking bonuses while wielding two weapons).

    Armor Proficiencies
    These are by weight and material: Light Armor, Light Shields, Hide Armor, Scale Armor, Unarmored, etc. The general Expert perk is to increase AC by +1 and the general Master perk is to decrease ASF and effective armor weight for encumbrance; specific perks include things like Duck and Cover for Master Heavy Shields (take a move action to gain cover or improved cover) or Scorn Blows for Expert Heavy Armor (adds DR).

    Because weapons and armor use a build-your-own system in conjunction to these rules, weapon and armor proficiencies are used to determine whether you can use common/rare/exotic armors and wield simple/martial/exotic weapons, and they also replace "boring" feats like Shield Specialization or Two-Weapon Defense.

    Knowledge Proficiencies
    These are by knowledge category: Outer Planes, Fey, Ancient History, Warfare, Commerce, etc. The general Expert perk is +5 to Knowledge checks in a sub-field like Outer Planes (Upper Planes) and the ability to take 10 on all such checks even under pressure and the general Master perk is +10 in a sub-sub-field like Outer Planes (Lower Planes [Gehenna]) and the ability to take 15 on those checks; specific perks include Art of War for Master Warfare (predict enemies' mass combat maneuvers) and Portal Hound for Expert Outer Planes (sense nearby portals and gain some idea of how to activate them).

    Profession Proficiencies
    These are by profession: Craftsman, Sailor, Barrister, Steward, Herbalist, etc. The general Expert perk is +5 to Profession checks in a sub-field like Craftsman (Blacksmithing) and the ability to roll Profession in place of other skill checks in a limited fashion (e.g. Expert Sailor could let you roll Profession instead of Climb to climb a ship's rigging, instead of Use Rope to tie up a ship, and so on) and the general Master perk is +10 in a sub-sub-field like Craftsman (Blacksmithing [Swords]) and a large reduction in the time required for relevant long-term tasks like crafting or researching things; specific perks include Common Language Families for Master Linguist (be able to speak and understand unknown languages at a basic level) and Pack Mule for Expert Laborer (increase encumbrance limits and reduce speed penalties for being encumbered).

    Knowledge and profession proficiencies are used to replace Knowledge and Profession subskills in the core rules or to augment the skill tasks in the revised skill system posted earlier, and to replace "boring" feats like Skill Focus. The sub-field/sub-sub-field thing lets you have, say, a sage who's an expert on famous red dragons during the Third Suloise Dynasty or a blacksmith capable of reforging that broken legendary dwarven hammer without needing them to be ~12th level to let them reliably make DC 30 checks.

    Region Proficiencies
    These are by political region or natural region: Cormyr, The Sword Coast, North Underdark, The Sea of Swords, The Plane Of Fire, etc. Each rank gives you some knowledge of the area in all categories as a Knowledge proficiency one rank lower (so e.g. Basic Cormyr would give a Thayan the kind of common knowledge known by anyone who grew up in Cormyr, Expert Cormyr would give him Basic Politics, Basic Geography, Basic History, etc. knowledge strictly as it relates to Cormyr, and Master Cormyr would give him Expert Politics, Expert Geography, Expert History, etc. knowledge) and lets you speak some of the dominant languages of the region with varying levels of fluency (including things like local accents, handy for rogueish or diplomatic types).

    Faction Proficiencies
    These are by group: Cormyrean Nobility, Waterdeep Thieves Guild, Suel Arcanamachs, House Cannith, The Athar, etc. Each rank gives you some insider knowledge relevant to the faction in all categories as a Knowledge proficiency one rank lower, as Region proficiencies do, and gives you appropriate social benefits (and drawbacks) when your allegiance is known.

    There are no specific perks for Region or Faction proficiencies, as they're very setting-specific and there are a bazillion regions and factions that would need to be filled out, but each rank gives a character a benefit of the player's choice from a short list of perks, including things like taking a regional feat after 1st level, meeting a race or affiliation PrC prereq despite not being that race or a member of that organization, gaining a big bonus to a certain Affiliation score, making a local contacts in a new area, and the like.

    These proficiencies are used to address some rules quirks like "commoners can't make the Knowledge DC to identify a cow" or "this elf grew up in a forbidding forest but can't navigate it because the Survival DCs are too high," and to give mechanical weight to flavor/background things like an elf who grew up among dwarves or an orphan taken in by the Assassin's Guild so players and DMs don't have to have "But my character would know/have X!" conversations.


    Each class and each race grants a fixed set weapon and armor proficiencies at the Basic level; (sub)races grant certain region proficiencies (often some fixed and some player-selectable from a certain) set, and (sub)classes grant fixed and selectable knowledge proficiencies. Characters can start with N profession and faction proficiencies of their choice (where N is higher if you start at higher levels). Multiple granted proficiencies stack to increase their rank, and each character gains bonus proficiency ranks like they gain bonus skill ranks from Int which may be spent to increase any proficiencies they like or to gain Basic proficiencies they weren't granted through their race or class.

    For a very basic example, let's say elf grants Basic Swords and Basic Bows, fighter grants Basic proficiency with all weapon and armor proficiencies, wood elf lets you choose between Basic Dalelands and Basic High Forest, and fighter lets you choose between Basic History and Basic Warfare. A wood elf fighter would start with Expert Bows, Expert Swords, Basic High Forest, and Basic Warfare, and could pick any Profession or Faction proficiency desired; if the character has bonus proficiency ranks from Int, he could increase Expert Bows to Master Bows, increase Basic Warfare to Expert Warfare, or pick up, say, Basic Fey.


    (One of these days I'll get around to just writing the whole thing up and posting it here instead of quoting summaries.)

    For skill points, it's somewhere between 1-point-per-level granularity and a trained/untrained setup. There are 5 ranks of skills (Trained, Apprentice, Journeyman, Master, Grandmaster), which can be bought starting at 0th, 2nd, 7th, 12th, and 17th level, respectively. Each rank grants a bonus to skill checks, of course, and also serves as a prerequisite for certain tasks; instead of being DC 60 to keep it (mostly) out of reach of low-level characters, a task might be DC 30 but require Master rank. Levels of realism decrease as ranks increase, so Trained-only tasks are things like identifying obscure monsters or crafting complex machinery, things that a normal human could do but would require training, and Grandmaster-only tasks are things like jumping through force walls, running on clouds, and other blatantly superheroic high-level effects.

    Most classes get enough skill points to keep 5 skills maxed out (so enough skill points to increase 1 skill by 1 rank at each level, and the new ranks are available in 5-level chunks) and have some left over for skill synergies and specializations, which are somewhere between skills and proficiencies. Like proficiencies, they give generic perks at each rank and then each synergy or specialization gives extra perks, but they scale with skills rather than being purchased independently. Specializations focus you further on one skill, while synergies combine two skills and advance based on the lower of the two associated skills.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R
    I would go back to the idea that a class was, well, a class. It's a measure of where you have been living and what you've been doing.

    To become a wizard, you have been training for years to understand how magic works. A fighter has spent the last few years training in combat. A cleric has been learning divine casting in a church.

    Learning two classes at once should be extremely difficult. Picking up a new one while devoting all your time to a quest or adventure using other skills should be impossible.

    I'd probably design martial classes like a tree with many branches. It certainly makes sense for a Fighter to grow into a Warlord or other warrior class. But going from a wizard class to a Fighter, separate from spending years learning to fight, makes no sense at all.
    I think AD&D multiclassing, where you advance multiple classes at a time similar to 3e gestalt, is probably the best approach to multiclassing, as long as classes are built or tweaked to support it (for instance, if all classes give basically the same number of abilities at every level so you don't have e.g. paladin//samurai who have nothing to look forward to at high levels, paladin//wizards who get all their features from one class after a certain point, and cleric//wizards who get lots of abilities from both classes). Most multiclass concepts are "Take two or three schticks, do both equally well" (whereas most builds that end up multiclassed are usually dipping for good class features), and an even multiclass handles that more elegantly than basically-mandatory dual-progression PrCs. And for concepts that are more "Do one thing really well and dabble in a second or third," you can have multiple classes with varying levels of each schtick (e.g. wizard, bard, duskblade, and hexblade for full caster, mostly-caster gish, balanced gish, and mostly-fighter gish) so you can mix and match for the desired ratio.

    Plus, it lets you do monsters with class levels and transformative classes very easily. In the former case, an ogre mage can be a giant//wizard and a solar could be an outsider//cleric in the same way that a human could be a fighter//wizard or a wizard//cleric, so you don't have high-level monsters with drastically under-leveled class abilities or the like. In the latter case, you can handle lycanthropy as forcibly multiclassing you as a shapechanger or beast or whatever, Dragon Disciple as a feat or something that gives a humanoid the flavor permission to "multiclass into dragon," and so on.
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    Spoiler: Sig of Holding
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    Darn you PoDL for making me care about a bunch of NPC Commoners!
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    I'm pretty sure turning Waterdeep into a sheet of glass wasn't the best win condition for that fight. We lived though!
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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    True, but that's not what this thread is about.

    I'm fairly certain people can work out why this thread was posted, but the point was a psuedo-celebration of the fact that we don't all want the same things from the same game. The fact that you can't actually 'fix' a social activity isn't the point, the fact that when given the same starting rules we veer off in many different directions is.
    So far from what I've seen around the boards in the past year, around 40% of the people want tougher grittier combat and less magic, around 5% seem to prefer full-caster plans on plans on contingencies shenanigans, 25% like 5e enough to say "I'll basically take 5e and add some stuff that WotC didn't", usually the skill system, 20% want to go back to earlier times where there were four classes of Fighter, Cleric, Magic-User and Thief, and the rest have their own weird ideas of how D&D should be.

    To be fair, that "weird" isn't anything bad. My own idea of D&D is basically rising over the course of 1-20 levels from a competent, but still mortal adventurer to someone who could smack Exalted Solars in their smug faces and get away with it.
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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post
    Many suggestions for "fixing" D&D that I've seen in this and many other threads may fit a pattern:

    Backgrounds not "Classes"?
    Traveller in 1977 and RuneQuest in 1978

    More skills?
    Traveller in 1977 and RuneQuest in 1978

    Based on individual abilities not "Levels"?
    Traveller in 1977 and RuneQuest in 1978

    More realistic "gritty" combat?
    RuneQuest in 1978

    Non "Vancian" magic?
    RuneQuest in 1978

    Can someone help me spot the pattern?
    I not at all familiar with RuneQuest, but played old school Traveller (and filled graveyards with characters who never played a game). I'd think advancing skills is needed, and that didn't seem to be much of an option in Traveller (or done at least awkwardly). I also played Bushido, a game with 6 levels (not sure if any relation to e6), but most advancement was done with skills (and possibly social advancement if samurai).

    I have to wonder if alignment neatly falls into two groups: "never remove" and "already gone". I tend to think that any game calling itself D&D is stuck with them, but they are the first things you should houserule out of the game (unfortunately this wrecks havok with settings). I'd like to keep "exalted/vile" and "axiomatic/anarchic" and leave the rest or at least make them disappear mechanically. Getting an alignment would presumably require swearing oaths or heroic deeds (Paladins would be required to achieve exalted, presumably before knighting or receive it during knighting).

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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    Quote Originally Posted by wumpus View Post
    I not at all familiar with RuneQuest, but played old school Traveller (and filled graveyards with characters who never played a game). I'd think advancing skills is needed, and that didn't seem to be much of an option in Traveller....

    I haven't played or looked at the rules for Traveller since the 1980's, but that's the way I remember it as well, you pretty much only got and increased skills during character creation, making an older and more skilled character meant you risked another chance of PC death during character creation.

    You could increase a characters skills during play in RuneQuest (basically the same system as Call of C'thullu) by a successful use of a skill (including weapin use skills) which led to the practice of "golfbagging" where players would have their PC's switch weapons during combat in order to increase their PC's skills in different weapons.
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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    I have several things in my campaign.
    Some creatures are more resistant to certain weapon types so I simply bring back a resistance(#) to slashing/crushing/piercing and with the short list of weapons available its pretty easy to class them. In the few cases of weapons with multiple damage types, halberds or warhammers for example the player declares which part of the weapon they are using.

    Further I really hate the PCs can do everything skill system with only a slight advantage for someone with the skill over someone not. I have experimented in both giving a disadvantage to an unskilled user to simply not allowing any bonuses for stats.

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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    I learned that one of my friends, currently running a D&D 5e campaign, is trying to fix D&D. Besides some spell list adjustments and other smaller tweaks they making turns resolve simultaneously. I don't see that ending well. Especially how precise you are supposed to declare your moves ahead of time. Anyone seen that before?

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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    Things to take away from previous editions:
    AD&D:
    There isn't a lot in AD&D that later editions haven't done better. Notably, THAC0, separate XP tables, and racial level limits are so bad as to be disqualifying in the modern day. The DMing advice is garbage. Even the things people mostly advocate for (notably: all the various ways casters are weaker) aren't good ideas. But there are some things worth having.
    • HP and damage numbers are much saner. There's no reason for people to have to add and subtract double or triple digit numbers every round. The game doesn't get any meaningful benefit for being able to distinguish between dealing 63 and 66 damage, so we should simplify the math by not doing that.
    • Random magic items are better than WBL. Magic items should feel special, and for that to happen you need to not get the same magic items every game. That said, it does help worldbuilding if there's at least some possibility of getting consistent items.


    3e:
    People are quick to point out the flaws of 3e, but it made a bunch of genuine improvements to the game. AD&D had a bunch of stupid cruft on it, and 3e cleaned that up. But there are also things 3e does well on its own merits.
    • Variety of resource management mechanics. There are classes in 3e that work in fundamentally different ways, and that is fantastic from a design perspective. The Warlock having at-will AoE and BFC means that the Warlock wants different kinds of fights from e.g. the Duskblade.
    • Monster/PC transparency. Monsters in 3e aren't arbitrary blobs of stats the way they are in other editions. They have identifiable progressions, which can be combined with PC classes and interact with consistent mechanics.
    • Players get abilities with narrative impact. teleport, plane shift, fabricate, planar binding, and more provide players with an outlet to directly influence the plot, which is one of the biggest reasons to play a TTRPG instead of a CRPG or something.
    • Characters progress to a high level of power. This is related to the previous point, but distinct from it. 3e characters can do things like wade through armies or punch out gods. Those are cool things that characters should be able to do.


    4e:
    4e had a lot of genuinely good ideas. Those ideas were executed very badly, but they were good ideas.
    • Tiers were a good idea. One of the larger problems in D&D is that Fighter is a concept that just doesn't scale. You fight. It's not clear what you do in a fight, and there's absolutely no hook for you to do anything outside a fight. It doesn't help that people insist on Fighters being mundane. The idea that at 11th level you stop being a Fighter and start being a Bone Knight or a Lightning Champion or a Verdant Lord or whatever, and that gives you level appropriate powers.
    • Skill Challenges were also a good idea. The execution was stupendously bad, in that the mechanics created incentives that went the exact opposite direction of what was intended, but the idea was good. All you need to do to fix those incentives is have a fixed number of rounds instead of a fixed number of failures as the timer for the challenge. Also, you should probably have abilities that interact with Skill Challenges.
    • Mostly I think the rules for rituals are dumb, but the idea of having some non-combat effects being class independent is a good one.


    5e
    Honestly, I don't think there's anything 5e does that other editions don't do as well or better.AS

    Other Stuff:
    • Constitution becomes part of Strength. Charisma becomes a part of Wisdom. Neither of those attributes does anything interesting on its own.
    • The Fighter class gets removed for the reasons mentioned above. The concept simply isn't salvageable.
    • Tiers use the names from 4e with either a 5/10/5 or 10/5/5 split for a total of 20 levels, depending on how exactly you define things.
    • The game needs a default setting. Probably not one of the major established settings. Maybe you grab the name of an obscure setting from AD&D and basically remake it on whatever lines you want.
    • Better (actually, existent) rules for mass combat and kingdom management.
    • Ever class gets a resource management system and some resources to manage. Hopefully these are thematic and support the class concept (e.g. Barbarian gets a Rage Meter).
    • As a result of the previous, you need a more space-efficient way of writing abilities. 3e's is bad, 4e's was worse.
    • Every class (or Paragon Path, or Epic Destiny) needs a way to scale through the entire range of challenges.
    • No more multiclassing. You get a class and a subclass. There's a subclass version of every base class, but some things that aren't base classes can also fit in that slot. For example, monster progressions (like Giants) and stuff like Dragonmarks from Eberron go here.
    • The Cleric class no longer exists. Priests of different gods should have different ability suites. As such, Cleric is now a subclass that grants whatever universal priest-y abilities that servants of both Pelor and Nerull should have.
    • Oh, also, the D&D gods are crap. This probably goes hand-in-hand with the "new setting" comment, but the gods need to be replaced because they don't have any traction. The replacements should probably draw from mythology, because people can tell you who Thor is in a way that they can't tell you who Kord is.
    • Alignment is also crap. No more alignment. Replace it with the MTG color wheel, because you have a coherent set of well defined values, and as a result should stop trying to use the weird mishmash of Christian ethics and mind caulk that is D&D alignment.
    • Start with the challenges and the expectations for PCs, then write PC abilities. Then test things. Iteratively test things until you end up at whatever equilibrium you're targeting.

  23. - Top - End - #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cosi View Post
    • Start with the challenges and the expectations for PCs, then write PC abilities. Then test things. Iteratively test things until you end up at whatever equilibrium you're targeting.
    You brought up some points I like (even the testing in this quote), some I don't but I see where you are coming from, some I would fight you on (but this isn't the place for another round of caster/martial*) but the bit about challenges I will contest.

    I think challenges is the wrong way of looking at this. What is interesting about a ranger being able to track a party of three hobgoblin soldiers through a forest? There is an answer there but I think the better question is: What is interesting about a ranger being able to track a group of escape POWs? What is interesting about a paladin being able to inspire the downtrodden?

    In other words, take a step back, don't measure from what they are doing but more why they are doing it. In yet other words, not how they are supposed to overcome encounters, but how they are supposed to shape the campaign? Now solving encounters does shape the campaign, but that is sort of a reactive shaping. It misses this active: go out and do stuff. Rally allies, explore/discover new places, make friends, make money on the side. Whatever. How can the character push the story forward?

    Start with the stories and work from there.

    * Also if things have become an actual fight, it is time to take a break.

    Quote Originally Posted by PairO'Lost Dice View Post
    (Names are working titles; "gish" and "theurge" are a bit on-the-nose and finding a good name for martial/skills is hard.)
    Solider, Theologian, Mage-Knight?

  24. - Top - End - #84
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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    One additional thing: D&D needs a better web presence. They don't have any articles up on their website from this month. That's terrible. Their latest wallpaper is from last year. You should be putting out two new articles every day of the week, like MTG does. You could do:
    • Designer Insights -- Someone on the design team rants about how you decide how much damage fireball deals, or what kinds of magic pants there are.
    • Recurring Villains -- Based on one of the articles WotC put out during 3e, this gives you three stat blocks at three different levels and a couple of hooks for a villain. Honestly, you could do this with a couple of dart boards.
    • Power Creep (General) -- Print some cool magic items or feats for people. If they get good reception, put them in a book.
    • Feature Article -- Get someone to write something (non-crunchy) that's related to D&D.
    • Setting Fluff -- Get someone to pump out a couple of pages of setting material or short story once a week.
    • Save My Game -- I think this was the name of another 3e era column. DMing advice, sometimes in response to questions from fans.
    • Community Roundup -- Find stuff people have done that is D&D related and tell people about it. Custom adventures, D&D cosplay, podcasts, webcomics, whatever. Encourage people to be active fans.
    • Power Creep (Class Specific) -- Print upgrades for Warlocks or Shaman or whatever. Probably alongside some fluff material about Demon Lords or the elemental balance or whatever.
    • Monster Ecology -- Pick something from the MM, spend a couple pages developing it. Try to make people care about Grells or Dragonkin.
    • Webcomic -- Get someone to write a weekly webcomic based on your game. Like OotS, but more serious and closer tied to the mechanics.
    • Sample Encounter -- Put out a tactically interesting encounter at a different level every week.

    There's probably some additional stuff you could do, and you could do it in any order (though I would probably put the Feature Article on Monday and the Community Roundup on Friday), but that's enough to drop one and still have two articles going up every day. There's just no excuse for not giving people a reason to come to the D&D website every day, and the best way to do that is by putting content on that website.

    Quote Originally Posted by PairO'Dice Lost View Post
    (Names are working titles; "gish" and "theurge" are a bit on-the-nose and finding a good name for martial/skills is hard.)
    I think Gish is exactly the right name for your Wizard/Fighter class. Because that's the name that Wizard/Fighters (at least, Githyank Wizard/Fighters) have in D&Dland. It's already a word the game supports for the concept. The replacement for Theurge is that you just hammer on a list of synonyms for "Magic User" until you find one you like, then put in a rant about how people who use both Arcane and Divine magic are Occultists or Mystics or Oracles or whatever the hell.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    I think challenges is the wrong way of looking at this.
    You have to start with either the challenges or the players. And if you start with the players, you end up with classes like the 3e Monk, which gets a lot of abilities that Bruce Lee might plausibly have but don't add up to being able to punch a cloud giant in the face at 11th level.

    In yet other words, not how they are supposed to overcome encounters, but how they are supposed to shape the campaign?
    The campaign is a series of challenges. That's what it is. Today you have to cross the Howling Peaks. Tomorrow you have to persuade the local Mage's Guild advocate to lend you arcane support against the trolls. The day after that you have to kill a Herzou. Ideally, the challenge lists you have are structured so that solutions involve PCs having proactive abilities. You have the challenge "you have to get to the other continent tomorrow", and the solution to that is "cast teleport", and then characters can just teleport around.

    Start with the stories and work from there.
    Stories don't really have a lot to do with the mechanics. You probably want some reality checks, but those are at a high level. If the game outputs that Rangers solve level appropriate problems by backstabbing people instead of by relying on natural lore, that is ultimately a much smaller problem than if the game outputs that Rangers can't solve level appropriate problems.

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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    To Cosi: My emotional reaction to that post is disappointment. I'm not sure what that means but I am willing to guess that sorting it out will take longer than it should. So unless you want to create a thread on design principles I say we just shelve this one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cosi View Post
    Things to take away from previous editions:
    Spoiler: Brevity is important
    Show
    AD&D:
    There isn't a lot in AD&D that later editions haven't done better. Notably, THAC0, separate XP tables, and racial level limits are so bad as to be disqualifying in the modern day. The DMing advice is garbage. Even the things people mostly advocate for (notably: all the various ways casters are weaker) aren't good ideas. But there are some things worth having.
    • HP and damage numbers are much saner. There's no reason for people to have to add and subtract double or triple digit numbers every round. The game doesn't get any meaningful benefit for being able to distinguish between dealing 63 and 66 damage, so we should simplify the math by not doing that.
    • Random magic items are better than WBL. Magic items should feel special, and for that to happen you need to not get the same magic items every game. That said, it does help worldbuilding if there's at least some possibility of getting consistent items.


    3e:
    People are quick to point out the flaws of 3e, but it made a bunch of genuine improvements to the game. AD&D had a bunch of stupid cruft on it, and 3e cleaned that up. But there are also things 3e does well on its own merits.
    • Variety of resource management mechanics. There are classes in 3e that work in fundamentally different ways, and that is fantastic from a design perspective. The Warlock having at-will AoE and BFC means that the Warlock wants different kinds of fights from e.g. the Duskblade.
    • Monster/PC transparency. Monsters in 3e aren't arbitrary blobs of stats the way they are in other editions. They have identifiable progressions, which can be combined with PC classes and interact with consistent mechanics.
    • Players get abilities with narrative impact. teleport, plane shift, fabricate, planar binding, and more provide players with an outlet to directly influence the plot, which is one of the biggest reasons to play a TTRPG instead of a CRPG or something.
    • Characters progress to a high level of power. This is related to the previous point, but distinct from it. 3e characters can do things like wade through armies or punch out gods. Those are cool things that characters should be able to do.


    4e:
    4e had a lot of genuinely good ideas. Those ideas were executed very badly, but they were good ideas.
    • Tiers were a good idea. One of the larger problems in D&D is that Fighter is a concept that just doesn't scale. You fight. It's not clear what you do in a fight, and there's absolutely no hook for you to do anything outside a fight. It doesn't help that people insist on Fighters being mundane. The idea that at 11th level you stop being a Fighter and start being a Bone Knight or a Lightning Champion or a Verdant Lord or whatever, and that gives you level appropriate powers.
    • Skill Challenges were also a good idea. The execution was stupendously bad, in that the mechanics created incentives that went the exact opposite direction of what was intended, but the idea was good. All you need to do to fix those incentives is have a fixed number of rounds instead of a fixed number of failures as the timer for the challenge. Also, you should probably have abilities that interact with Skill Challenges.
    • Mostly I think the rules for rituals are dumb, but the idea of having some non-combat effects being class independent is a good one.


    5e
    Honestly, I don't think there's anything 5e does that other editions don't do as well or better.AS

    Other Stuff:
    • Constitution becomes part of Strength. Charisma becomes a part of Wisdom. Neither of those attributes does anything interesting on its own.
    • The Fighter class gets removed for the reasons mentioned above. The concept simply isn't salvageable.
    • Tiers use the names from 4e with either a 5/10/5 or 10/5/5 split for a total of 20 levels, depending on how exactly you define things.
    • The game needs a default setting. Probably not one of the major established settings. Maybe you grab the name of an obscure setting from AD&D and basically remake it on whatever lines you want.
    • Better (actually, existent) rules for mass combat and kingdom management.
    • Ever class gets a resource management system and some resources to manage. Hopefully these are thematic and support the class concept (e.g. Barbarian gets a Rage Meter).
    • As a result of the previous, you need a more space-efficient way of writing abilities. 3e's is bad, 4e's was worse.
    • Every class (or Paragon Path, or Epic Destiny) needs a way to scale through the entire range of challenges.
    • No more multiclassing. You get a class and a subclass. There's a subclass version of every base class, but some things that aren't base classes can also fit in that slot. For example, monster progressions (like Giants) and stuff like Dragonmarks from Eberron go here.
    • The Cleric class no longer exists. Priests of different gods should have different ability suites. As such, Cleric is now a subclass that grants whatever universal priest-y abilities that servants of both Pelor and Nerull should have.
    • Oh, also, the D&D gods are crap. This probably goes hand-in-hand with the "new setting" comment, but the gods need to be replaced because they don't have any traction. The replacements should probably draw from mythology, because people can tell you who Thor is in a way that they can't tell you who Kord is.
    • Alignment is also crap. No more alignment. Replace it with the MTG color wheel, because you have a coherent set of well defined values, and as a result should stop trying to use the weird mishmash of Christian ethics and mind caulk that is D&D alignment.
    • Start with the challenges and the expectations for PCs, then write PC abilities. Then test things. Iteratively test things until you end up at whatever equilibrium you're targeting.
    I can only disagree with some specific "other stuff" (mostly stats and class/subclass ideas). Otherwise you're pretty much on point as far as I'm concerned.
    Last edited by Ignimortis; 2018-06-08 at 10:10 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    I learned that one of my friends, currently running a D&D 5e campaign, is trying to fix D&D. Besides some spell list adjustments and other smaller tweaks they making turns resolve simultaneously. I don't see that ending well. Especially how precise you are supposed to declare your moves ahead of time. Anyone seen that before?
    Simultaneous resolution is a thing in several games. Some games do a straight-up "You declare, I declare, he declares, she declares, now everyone try to resolve everything all at once" for actual simultaneous resolution, which works only until you have any kind of conflicting actions and then it basically falls apart.

    Other games make an attempt to make things feel more simultaneous than turn-based games do, either phased simultaneous resolution or ordered simultaneous resolution. BECMI/OD&D does the phased version, having four phases of Movement/Missile/Magic/Melee, so everyone moves first (probably no conflicts), then makes ranged attacks (probably no conflicts), and the same for spells and melee attacks, with initiative and declarations handled by side rather than by character; it works well enough to make things feel simultaneous at large scales where closing in to melee, volleys of arrows, etc. are a thing, but it's less effective in your typical dungeon scenario.

    WHRP does the ordered version: after rolling initiative, actions are declared in order from lowest initiative to highest and resolved from highest to lowest, allowing higher-initiative characters to interrupt lower-initiative characters more organically. It's the most simultaneous-feeling of them all, but it's a bookkeeping nightmare to resolve when you have more than a handful of characters to deal with.

    So it's one of those things that sounds great and everyone wants to try, but doesn't work out too well in practice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cosi View Post
    Things to take away from previous editions:
    AD&D:
    There isn't a lot in AD&D that later editions haven't done better. Notably, THAC0, separate XP tables, and racial level limits are so bad as to be disqualifying in the modern day. The DMing advice is garbage. Even the things people mostly advocate for (notably: all the various ways casters are weaker) aren't good ideas.
    I'd actually argue that there's a lot AD&D does best out of all the editions, at least at the conceptual level if not in the implementation. And if you're giving 4e credit for "great concept, terrible execution," AD&D definitely deserves at least that much.

    1e gives better tools for encounter-building (monster rarity, more ecology/society information, and the like, though of course the XP rewards don't hold a candle to 3e's CR system), multiclassing vs. dual-classing to enable you to handle both "I'm an equally good fighter and wizard!" builds and "I'm an X who dabbles in Y!" builds (though the specifics where demihumans couldn't dual-class, humans couldn't multiclass, multiclass combinations were fixed, and dual-class leveling was wonky were pretty terrible), an emphasis on domain management at the mid levels to make the game's changing playstyles as you level more explicit, random magic item tables that explicitly favor noncasters, detailed wilderness/hex crawl adventuring rules, and the like.

    2e gives specialty priests and priest spheres that make different divine casters feel distinct, kits allowing PrC-like customization of characters from 1st level instead of 5th or 6th, NWPs explicitly letting you do things without having to roll for them (unlike 3e skills where many basic tasks are DC 10 to 15 so characters can fail them more often than expected whenever they can't take 10), lots of default combat options from Player Options (Combat & Tactics), "epic" foes like gods and unique monsters having HD in the high teens to low 20s so you can actually face them before the game totally breaks down, and the like.

    Even if the specific mechanics are thrown out (and they probably should be), there's a lot in AD&D to mine for useful ideas. In fact, many of the things you mention below under "other stuff" shows up in AD&D in that form or a similar form.

    • Random magic items are better than WBL. Magic items should feel special, and for that to happen you need to not get the same magic items every game. That said, it does help worldbuilding if there's at least some possibility of getting consistent items.
    Note that 3e WBL isn't a hard-and-fast "the party must get this much gold worth of stuff at each level" rule, as it's often portrayed online and as it's usually used in PbP games. It's a general "the average results of treasure tables give these values, so characters starting above 1st are expected to have roughly this much stuff" guideline:

    Quote Originally Posted by 3e DMG, Experience Points sidebar, p.41
    Published adventures always provide a guideline for which levels of characters are appropriate to play. Keep in mind that this information is based on character power as well as expected treasure. Table 5–1: Character Wealth by Level gives a guideline for about how much treasure a character of a certain level should possess. This guideline is based on the (slightly more than) thirteen-encounters-per-level formula and assumes average treasures were given out. If you use a published adventure but tend to be generous with experience points, you might find that the characters in your group don’t have as much treasure as the scenario assumes. Likewise, if you’re stingy with experience points, the characters will probably gain treasure faster than levels. Of course, if you’re stingy or generous with both treasure and experience points, it might just all even out.
    Quote Originally Posted by 3e DMG, Making a New Character, p.42
    As long as your campaign is reasonably close to the PC gear guidelines outlined in Creating PCs above 1st Level (page 199), you can use Table 5–1: Character Wealth by Level to set the gear. For example, a new 13th-level character should have 110,000 gp in gear. If your characters are more than 20% higher or lower than the values on the table, adjust the gear value for the new character by the same percentage. If the three 12th-level characters each have 132,000 gp in equipment (50% above the norm of 88,000), give a new 11th-level character 99,000 gp (50% above the norm of 66,000).
    DMs can ignore WBL entirely (as long as they compensate elsewhere for giving much less or much more treasure than expected), randomly roll up treasure roughly equaling WBL, and so on, so for most of the game (basically until the party can teleport and plane shift to go item shopping in large metropolises basically guaranteed to have the stuff they want) players having cookie-cutter magic items is more of a DM thing than a system thing.

    But I agree that in general the game should incentivize getting (and keeping and using) random items rather than self-crafting everything, by making the random ones better for a given resource expenditure or just by making crafting inefficient for even-level items like 1e does.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cosi View Post
    I think Gish is exactly the right name for your Wizard/Fighter class. Because that's the name that Wizard/Fighters (at least, Githyank Wizard/Fighters) have in D&Dland. It's already a word the game supports for the concept.
    The reason I'm not sold on Gish is precisely because it's exclusive to githyanki in a way that other classes aren't, so "I'm a gish specializing in spell channeling!" doesn't work in-character in the same way "I'm a wizard specializing in evocation!" or "I'm a priest/champion of Pelor!" does. But there's definitely no other term that comes close to replacing it, so I'm using it for now.
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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    How I would fix dnd, wide ranging changes - overall objective, make it gritty, low magic - see Low Fantasy Gaming in my sig.

    How I would fix 5e with minimal changes: see 5e Hardmode in my sig.
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    Actually, I've been ruminating on this for a long time and had asked friends and acquaintances on how they would fix D&D, and based on how much I see this on the forums and in people's answers...

    Not sure if this merits a separate thread, and I want to ask - why so many people wish for D&D to be a gritty low magic fantasy game? It hasn't been that for ages, and there are literally dozens of those on the market, as far as I'm aware, and they have been designed as such from the start. I've heard lots of good things (bad things too, though) about LotFP, some good remarks on Shadow of the Demon Lord or something like that, etc. Most heartbreakers of older D&D versions also attempt to skew the board towards "gritty realism".

    Meanwhile, my project of remaking D&D only exists because there is no game I know of in the genre of "superpowered fantasy heroes" aside from Exalted similar in tone to what I want to play and DM, and Exalted's mechanics are kinda bad and would require much more work to redo properly, while higher-level D&D would work quite well for that with a full progression in 20 levels from mortal to demigod.
    Last edited by Ignimortis; 2018-06-09 at 05:43 AM.
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    Default Re: Fixing D&D: YOUR WAY

    Quote Originally Posted by Ignimortis View Post
    Actually, I've been ruminating on this for a long time and had asked friends and acquaintances on how they would fix D&D, and based on how much I see this on the forums and in people's answers...

    Not sure if this merits a separate thread, and I want to ask - why so many people wish for D&D to be a gritty low magic fantasy game? It hasn't been that for ages, and there are literally dozens of those on the market, as far as I'm aware, and they have been designed as such from the start. I've heard lots of good things (bad things too, though) about LotFP, some good remarks on Shadow of the Demon Lord or something like that, etc. Most heartbreakers of older D&D versions also attempt to skew the board towards "gritty realism".

    Meanwhile, my project of remaking D&D only exists because there is no game I know of in the genre of "superpowered fantasy heroes" aside from Exalted similar in tone to what I want to play and DM, and Exalted's mechanics are kinda bad and would require much more work to redo properly, while higher-level D&D would work quite well for that with a full progression in 20 levels from mortal to demigod.
    Interesting, I find the opposite to be true: there are many high magic systems, but very few low magic ones; almost none, in fact. Fairly sure Shadow of the Demon Lord, and Lotfp, aren't low magic (havent looked into them too closely however).

    The main reason I want low magic is, ironically (?), to make magic "magical". When magic is everywhere, and reliable, it just becomes a kind of science. And gritty, because I want to feel like I earned my victories. I am a gameplay > story guy. Dont get me wrong, I want a bit of story, but not at the cost of genuine risk and potential PC death/TPK.

    You might also check out Godbound, I think that's a epic power dnd game.
    Last edited by Psikerlord; 2018-06-09 at 07:23 AM.
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